Farmers and producers

Dry and windy conditions in store for November as El Nino approaches

[3 November/NZ Farmer] NIWA are forecasting an 88% chance of New Zealand experiencing warm El Nino conditions over the summer period according to Principal Forecasting Scientist, Chris Brandolino. He said while it was not set in stone it is looking increasingly likely, adding the country and in particular the North Island, will need to brace...

NZ dairy farm prices drop 18% as environmental, foreign investment concerns start to bite

[30 October/NZ Herald] The Real Estate Institute of NZ has released figures that indicate the median price per hectare for dairy farms has fallen 18.3% over the last 12 months. Overall, the prices across all categories of agricultural land have fallen 7% on year on year. In commentary, REINZ said that the early spring farm...

Ngai Tahu Farming replaces forestry with 14,000 cows at Eyrewell

[29 October/Stuff] Ngai Tahu Farming plans to milk 14,000 dairy cows near Christchurch once the remainder of the Eyrewell forest has been harvested. The iwi owned organisation said it had however abandoned plans to convert some of Balmoral Forest to dairy after failing to get the required consents. Ngai Tahu Farming manages more than 100,000...

Dairy farm values down 18 percent on year ago

[29 October/The Country] Farm sales have decreased by more than 7 percent, and dairy farm prices had fallen but more than 18 percent per hectare over the last year. Total farm sales for September were 1460 farms, which was 12.4 percent lower than last year. The median price per hectare was $30,876 compared to $37,187...

Pasture, present and future: NZ-Ireland hold joint summit

[29 October/The Country] New Zealand and Ireland’s first joint Pasture Summit will be held in New Zealand next month. The event will consist of two conferences with one in Hamilton and one in Ashburton. Its Chairman, Colin Armer, said it would have a dynamic group of international and local speakers with cutting edge science and...

Recovery package to get farmers hit by cattle disease back on their feet faster

[9 October/Stuff] Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor, announced a recovery package to help farmers get back to business faster after being cleared of Mycoplasma bovis. The package would give access to assistance with compensation claims, online tools, and extra support from the Rural Support Trust. The compensation team was made up...

NZ farmer confidence slides into negative territory

[27 September/Rabobank] New Zealand farmer confidence in the primary sector fell from the previous quarter. They were now at negative levels for the first time since early 2016. Confidence rose amongst sheep and beef farmers, however fell among dairy farmers. The main reasons for the decreased confidence were concerns around Government policy and falling commodity...

Farmer group aims at land best practice

[1 October/Rural Life] A farmer led initiative was looking at ways to improve land management practices to benefit the environment and local communities. The Aparima Community Engagement represented six local catchment groups. It briefed Environment Minister, David Parker, on his its aims during his visit. The main issue to tackle included identifying best practice around...

Otago farm sales up, but NZ trend down

[25 September/Rural Life] Otago farm sales increased over the last three months, however the national sales market was down 18 percent overall compared to the previous July. In the three months to August, there were 323 farm sales which was down 18.6 percent on sales recorded in the three months to July. According to Real...

Capital gains tax on the cards

[25 September/Dairy News] Federated Farmers Vice President, Andrew Hoggard, said people who recently bought farms and are highly leveraged could be affected by the introduction of a capital gains tax putting downward pressure on land values. He added it could be beneficial for those about to purchase a farm after its introduction. The possibility of...

Cows electrocuted by falling power lines

[13 September/Rural Life] Eleven dairy cows have recently been electrocuted when powerlines broke and fell, raising concerns that unmaintained lines across Northland could kill again. The cows were located on a Dargaville property. It was warned that ageing, rotting, and rusting power poles on private properties were dangerous. Northpower Spokesman, Steve Macmillan, said it was...

Young Farmers Contest changes to encourage more women to enter

[12 September/Stuff] A key problem with the FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition is that women aren’t winning and it is planning significant changes to attract more female entries. Farmer, Lisa Kendall, was one of only four women to have reached the final in the 50 years the contest had been running. She said...

New Young Farmers CEO is excited to make her return to agribusiness

[10 September/Rural Life] Lynda Coppersmith has been appointed as the first female chief executive of New Zealand Young Farmers. She is currently a senior account manager with MYOB but has worked with DairyNZ and LIC in the past. She was excited about the opportunity. NZYF has almost 80 clubs, runs the FMG Young Farmer of...

Farm debt mediation bill needs more work

[10 September/Radio NZ] A new bill on farm debt was called weak by a parliamentary select committee, and sent away for more work. The bill provides for mediation between banks and farms before receivership or liquidation action is taken. The proposal was condemned by insolvency specialist, John Fisk. However, New Zealand First MP, Mark Patterson,...

Land use concerns farmers

[5 September/Otago Daily Times] Foresters and farmers were wary of a report from the Productivity Commission on New Zealand meeting its climate change target. In particular, they are uncertain on the achievability of the annual forest planting rate of 100,000 hectares. Federated Farmers were concerned about the amount of land required for planting while the...

Pamu to pay Govt $5m dividend

[3 September/The Country] Landcorp would pay a $5 million dividend to the Government, being its first in four years. It had an after tax profit of $34.2 million, which was a 34 percent fall on the previous year. Revenue had grown 7 percent and included a 15 percent increase in livestock revenue. Pamu Chief Executive,...

Get used to higher costs of farming

[21 August/Rural News] Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, said farmers should get used to the increasing costs of farming in New Zealand. He added the reality was we are in a world that was scrutinising every part of our farming operations. He referred to accountability and product origin when explaining this. He claimed a recent apple...

Young Farmers elect first woman chair in 12 years

[10 August/The Country] Ash-Leigh Campbell has been elected chair of the NZ Young Farmers board and became the first woman in the position for twelve years. She is a technical farm manager with Ngai Tahu, and helped oversee the management of eight dairy farms. She said she was privileged to be elected chair and was...

Farmer confidence at its weakest in 6 years

[1 August/Rural Life] New Zealand farmer confidence fell to its lowest level in six years due to uncertainty with government policies. According to the latest Federated Farmers confidence survey, around 39 percent of farmers surveyed were pessimistic about the economic conditions over the next year. This was the lowest level recorded since 2012. ANZ’s business...

Farmers seek off-farm income to counter rising costs

[30 July/Stuff] According to a survey by Lincoln University, over a quarter of farms obtained 30 percent or more of their income from off-farm sources. Farmers have struggled to keep up with the price increases. Federated Farmers Meat and Wool Chairman, Miles Anderson, said he was not surprised given the downturn in the sheep industry...

$14m earnings boost for state farmer

[20 July/Rural News] Landcorp Farming expects a $14 million boost in revenues due to higher than expected milk and meat prices. It said allocation of additional carbon units would also lift earnings. It received the allocation after the five yearly audit by the Ministry for Primary Industries. It noted its EBITDAR for the 2018 financial...

Stock rustling takes shine off a good year for sheep farmers

[17 July/Stuff] Wairarapa farmers are becoming increasingly angered by rustlers stealing sheep, and say it is becoming noticeable in hurting their bottom lines. Gladstone sheep and beef farmer, Andrew Rayner, has had so many thefts that he now avoids putting stock in roadside paddocks. Farmers estimate that incidents are occurring about once a fortnight and...

Woodville farmer first woman elected head of Young Farmer competition

[15 July/Stuff] Woodville farmer, Rebecca Brown, has been elected chairwoman of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year committee. She was the first woman to hold the role. She said she was honoured and it showed woman could do anything. She was one of three women appointed to the board. The new members meant half...

Wallace named Young Farmer of the Year

[8 July/Stuff] Logan Wallace was named the Young Farmer of the Year. He was a sheep farmer from South Otago and beat six other contestants to win the competition. He has a certificate in agriculture and a diploma in rural business from Telford. He is also a Land Search and Rescue member. The contestants visited...